Subscribe to the RSS Feed

Columbus Ohio Divorce Lawyer on Divorce in Ohio Part 1: Before You End Your Marriage – Is Legal Separation, Reconciliation or Conciliation Right for You?

This article is the first article in a series by Virginia Cornwell, a Columbus Ohio Divorce Lawyer and Ohio State Bar Association Certified Family Relations Specialist.  Virginia is one of approximately 100 attorneys in Ohio to receive this honor.  The series is about the Ohio divorce process. To read some of the other articles in the series, click the links below:

Before you decide to end your marriage, you will want to consider all of your options.  The first installment in this series discusses options which do NOT end the marriage.  The remainder of the series will discuss ending the marriage, and the legal, procedural and practical issues that are involved in ending the marriage.  Specifically, the remainder of the series discusses divorce.


If reconciliation of the marriage is possible, many people find that they require support from one or more of the following resources to be able to reconcile.

  • Counseling
  • Clergy
  • Support Groups


If your spouse will not participate in counseling, and you want them to participate in counseling, you can ask the court to order your spouse to participate in counseling with you, but there’s a catch.  The court can only order this counseling if one of the spouses has already filed a dissolution, legal separation, annulment or divorce.  This process is called Conciliation.  To read more about Conciliation, see Ohio Revised Code 3105.091.

If no children are involved, the court can order counseling for a period of time no longer than 90 days.  If children are involved, the court can order family counseling as long as the case is pending or for any reasonable period of time.  The court can refer the parties to any of the following:

  • public or private marriage counselors
  • family service agencies
  • community health services
  • physicians
  • licensed psychologists or
  • clergy

If the court orders counseling the court MAY name the counselor, and MUST specify

  • the type of counseling
  • the length of counseling
  • how the counseling shall be paid for
  • any other condition or consideration required with the counseling.

If the court does choose to order conciliation, the case cannot be finished until the terms of the court’s order have been met and this has been reported to the court.

Although the court has authority to order counseling between a husband and a wife, it is rarely done except in cases where children are involved. This is probably because counseling to reconcile the marriage is unlikely to be effective if one or both parties are unwilling to participate and are only there by court order.  In addition, many insurance companies will not pay for counseling that is court ordered.  Nevertheless, the law is still in effect in Ohio.


To learn about Legal Separation in Ohio, see our article about Legal Separation by clicking the link below:

If one or both parties have decided that the marriage must end, see the remainder of our series “Divorce in Ohio” for an explanation of the many issues associated with divorce.

In addition to the other installments in this Divorce in Ohio Series (see links at top of the page), you may also find the following topics, which relate to divorce, to be helpful.

Adultery, AnnulmentAlimony (Spousal Support), Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Custody Jurisdiction, Child Support (deviation)Child Support (how much), Child Support (how to pay), Child Support (lower), Child Support (myths), Child Support (resources), Child Support (sign up), Contempt, Dissolution, Divorce Basics, Divorce Myths, Foreclosure Mediation, Grandparents, Guardian ad Litem, House, International Abduction, Legal Separation, Mediation, Moving, Packet of Forms vs. Getting a Lawyer, Prenuptial Agreements (Antenuptial Agreements)Shared Parenting, Temporary Orders, Temporary Orders Affidavits, Where to File for Divorce



  1. Anonymous says

    I am a resident of Cuyahoga County in Ohio and have requested conciliation in a divorce suit my spouse has brought against me.  The judge denied it and I was told that no judge in Cuyahoga county would honor section 3105.091 of the Ohio Revised Code.  I believe my legal rights are being denied but do not know what recourse I have to enforce Ohio law, and thus my legal rights,  as it is written.  In addition to violation of my legal rights, I feel I am being persecuted because of my faith beliefs as my faith does not condone divorce without at least trying to make the effort to save the relationship, especially one that has a 32-year duration.  I do not believe my spouse is acting in their right mind as they have begun to twist everything I say into a lie and this is not reflective of their personality.  Is there anything that can be done to accomplish the goal of obtaining psychological testing and family/conciliation therapy?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.